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Podcast recap: Kyle Lowry wants Dwane Casey back, and more

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We alerted you all to the existence of a Kyle Lowry appearance on Zach Lowe’s excellent Lowe Post podcast at ESPN.com earlier tonight. I’ve had a chance to listen now and I have to say, as a Raptors fan, I can’t imagine a better 40 minutes of audio exists.

With Lowe in Toronto for the holidays, Lowry was able to join him in-studio for a really fun, free-flowing (#Grantland) conversation that’s well worth the listen. Lowe is such a phenomenal basketball mind and a terrific interviewer, and Lowry is at ease and open and intelligent throughout, and he comes off so smart and likable. Go listen to it. Now.

I really don’t want to do Lowe the disservice of sharing too much here, but I wanted to share a few notes, the foremost of which is Lowry’s stance on head coach Dwane Casey’s performance and lame-duck status.

Lowry: Casey’s an unbelievable person. That man is the nicest man in the world … and on the floor, he’s that old-school, southern, hard-nosed type of coach. Me and him, our relationship has grown throughout the years but he’s learned to trust me. I’ve learned to trust him. That’s why we have a better relationship and the result of this relationship is always going to have ‘oh man, why are you doing this’ but that’s player-coach. That’s everybody. That’s every point guard, every player in the league.

But at the end of the day, you’re on the same page, and if you can talk about it afterward and be like, ‘yeah, my bad alright let’s move on’. And if it doesn’t linger for a whole game, if it lingers for two seconds, then it’s over, then cool, that’s all that matters.

No one’s gonna love each other every second of the day. You’re gonna have disagreements, you’re gonna have miscommunication. But as long as you communicate and fix it, then it’s all good.

Lowe: You know it’s the last year of [Dwane Casey’s] contract. You want him to stay, it sounds like.

Lowry: Yeah, he’s done a good job man. They always say, ‘the grass ain’t always greener on the other side’, and for a guy that’s gotten me to a situation where I’ve got paid, I’m an all-star – I’m gonna go ‘hey, listen if he’s back, he’s back’ and I want him back.

But that’s not my decision. My decision is to play.

It’s awesome that Lowry comes out with such open support for Casey. I know Casey has some detractors around these parts, but I wrote the other day that I believe he’s earned his option year so far this season, though I’ve always leaned more pro-Casey than most. If the team’s star wants him back, that’s a major vote come decision time.

A few other quick notes (there’s so much gold in here but I don’t want to risk ripping off the whole podcast):

  • It doesn’t sound like T.J. Ross will do the dunk contest. Lowry may do the 3-point contest. DeMar DeRozan is “a punk” about the dunk contest.
  • Isn’t too worried about All-Star voting. Thinks it’s the fans right to pick whoever they want and that Toronto fans will make another late push.
  • Called DeRozan the best two-guard in the league. If not, he’s top-three, and Lowry thinks he’d be the unquestioned number one if the three start falling. Jonas Valanciunas’ pump-fake is better, though.
  • He was asked for a free agent pitch that doesn’t include the well-known quality of Raptors fans. Among other things, he highlighted the quality of the city (food, nightlife, schooling), the quality of the organization and their willingness to invest in things like the new practice gym, the quality of Masai Ujiri as a leader and Larry Tanenbaum as an owner, the quality of the players, and the strength of the American dollar making everything cheaper for him right now. It’s a pretty good pitch. It’s a minor note, too, but Lowry referred to Canada as “we” multiple times, which is cool.

Anyway, I hope this isn’t giving too much. It’s like a quarter of the notes I had from listening. Go check it out.

Lowe, arguably the best basketball writer on the planet right now, can be found on ESPN.com since the closure of Grantland, a major boon for the four-letter. The Lowe Post podcast is always a lot of fun, and Lowe does a terrific job securing high-profile guests for very open conversations. Lowry is no exception.

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